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Barley, a traditional staple in Europe, the Middle East, and India, is recommended as part of balanced diet. The barley commonly available is pearled barley, a partially milled form. Whole grain barley is stronger and more healthful. See Ulcer, War-Restricted Diet, Whole Grains.


• Barley Reduces Heart Disease Risk

In a study on cardiovascular risk, USDA scientists reported that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were significantly lower in men with elevated blood values when given a diet high in barley. “Increasing soluble fiber through consumption of barley in a healthy diet can reduce cardiovascular risk factors,” the researchers concluded.

Source: K. M. Behall et al., “Lipids Significantly Reduced by Diets Containing Barley in Moderately Hypercholesterolemic Men,”Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23(1):55-62, 2004.


• Barley Reduces Diabetic Risk

In laboratory studies, researchers at the Diabetes Research Institute in Munich, Germany, reported that barley and wheat delayed the onset of diabetes and reduced its incidence compared to controls. Replacing the whole grains with protein from poultry significantly increased diabetes development, while neither fish oil or vitamin D supplementation showed no benefits.    

Source: S. Schmid et al., “Delayed Exposure to Wheat and Barley Proteins Reduces Diabetes Incidence in Non-Obese Diabetic Mice,” Clin Immunol 111(1):108-18, 2004.


• Barley Protects Against Ulcers

In laboratory experiments, Japanese scientists found that rats given a barley diet showed strong anti-ulcer activities compared to those that consumed a sucrose-based diet.

Source: M. Yoshizawa et al., “Protective Effects of Barley and Its Hydrolysates on Gastric Stress Ulcer in Rats,” Yakugaku Zasshi 124(8):571-5, 2004.


• High-Fiber Barley Lowers Blood Sugar and Insulin

In a study of the effects of different types of barley and oats on blood sugar levels and insulin responses, Swedish researchers reported that high-fiber barley products produced better reactions than common refined or processed forms of the grain. The researchers recommended that high-fiber barley be included in diets for patients with diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and those predisposed to other metabolic diseases.

Source: J. G. Liljeberg et al., “Products Based on a High Fiber Barley Genotype, But Not on Common Barley or Oats, Lower Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Responses in Healthy Humans,” Journal of Nutrition 126(2):458-66, 1996.



Beans are traditionally eaten around the world as a complement to whole cereal grains. In Mesoamerica, people eat black beans or pinto beans with corn. In the Middle East and South Asia, they eat lentils and other pulses. In the Far East, they enjoy soybeans and soy products such as tofu and tempeh. Beans are an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. They are associated with lower incidence of heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases. See Azuki Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Menopause, Miso, Natto, Soy Foods, Tempeh, Tofu.


• Beans Protect Against Iron-Deficiency Anemia

In a study of 130 infants from poor families, Brazilian scientists reported that those who were fed beans had less risk of iron-deficiency anemia. Risk factors for the disorder included intake of cow’s milk starting at 4 months.

Source: M. U. Devincenzi, “Protective Factors for Iron-Deficiency Anemia: Prospective Study in Low-Income Infants,” Arch Latinoam Nutri 54(2):174-9, 2004.


• Beans Top Food for Longevity

In a cross-cultural study conducted under the auspices of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences and the World Health Organization, scientists identified high bean or legume intake s the single most protective dietary predictor of survival among the elderly regardless of ethnicity. Beans topped vegetables, fruits and nuts, cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, mono/unsaturated oils, and ethanol. For every 20 gram increase in daily legume intake, researchers found a 7-8 percent reduction in mortality. “The significance of legumes persisted even after controlling for age at enrolment (in 5-year interval), gender, and smoking. Legumes have been associated with long-lived food cultures such as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso), the Swedes (brown beans, peas), and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans,” the scientists concluded.      

Source: I. Blackberry et al., “Legumes: The Most Important Dietary Predictor of Survival in Older People of Different Ethnicities,” Asia Pac Journal of Clinical Nutrition 13(Suppl):S126, 2004.


• Beans Protect Against Brain Tumors

In a case-control study of adults with glioma, a brain tumor, in adults residing in Nebraska, scientists at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston reported that consumption of fiber-rich beans, dark yellow vegetables, and dietary fiber substantially reduced the risk of adult glioma.

Source: H. Chen et al., “Diet and Risk of Adult Glioma in Eastern Nebraska, U.S.” Cancer Causes Control 13(7):647-55, 2002.


• Beans Lower Bile Acids and Protect Against Cancer

Beans lowered bile acid production by 30 percent in men with a tendency toward elevated bile acid.  Bile acids are necessary for proper fat digestion but in excess have been associated with causing cancer, especially in the large intestine. Case-control studies showed that pinto and navy beans were effective in lowering bile acid production in men at high risk for this condition.

Source:  J. Anderson, “Hypocholesterolemic Effects of Oat-Bran or Bean Intake for Hypercholesterolemic Men,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 40:1146-55, 1984.


• Beans Lower Cholesterol

Men with high cholesterol who ate a diet including a half cup daily of dried pinto, navy, kidney, and other beans had an average drop in cholesterol levels of 20 percent after three weeks.

Source: J. W. Anderson and W. L. Chen, “Effects of Legumes and Their Soluble Fibers on Cholesterol-Rich Lipoproteins,” American Chemical Society Abstracts AGFD #39, 1982.


• Beans Inhibit Induced Colon Cancer

In laboratory experiments, researchers at Northern Arizona University reported that rats fed a diet high in pinto beans had over four times less tumors than rats fed a diet high in dairy protein. The bean group also had slower growing tumors. The experiment was designed to simulate the high bean diet of Latin American countries where there is a low incidence of colon cancer. “This study demonstrates that dry beans contain anticarcinogenic compounds,” the scientists concluded.

Source: J. S. Hughes et al., “Dry Beans Inhibit Azoxymethane-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in F344 Rats,” Journal of Nutrition 127(12):2328-33, 1997.

Bell Peppers

The bell pepper plant is not only attractive, it is also a very rewarding addition to a garden. Their reputation for being difficult to grow comes from people not giving these plants the correct attention. Also known as sweet peppers or capsicum, if cared for properly you will be rewarded with an abundance of rich green foliage and sweet tasting peppers. Happy DIY Home has published an updated, comprehensive guide on how to grow and care for bell peppers on our sister site, Happy DIY Home. It is completely free and you can find it here:


Biological Transmutation

In 1959 French scientist Louis Kervran started publishing his discoveries in the field of biological transmutation —the synthesis of necessary but unavailable chemical elements out of simpler, available ones. His interest in this field began when he studied workers in the Sahara desert, who excreted more sodium than they consumed. Food tests showed that a comparable excess amount of potassium was being taken. Kervran showed that potassium was capable of being transmuted into sodium in the body.

     Developing the theories of George Ohsawa that elements can be transmuted into one another peacefully without smashing the atom, Kervran went on to find that iron could be made from manganese, silica from calcium, and phosphorus from sulfur. Kervran’s experiments have wide industrial, scientific, and social applications. For example, biological transmutations could be applied to rendering harmless nuclear wastes, toxic spills, and other chronic environmental hazards.

Source: Louis C. Kervran, Biological Transmutations (Brooklyn: Swan House, 1972).


• Army Confirms Ohsawa Theory

In 1978 scientists for the U.S. military tested Ohsawa and Kervran’s theories of biological transmutation and verified some of their experiments. The researchers concluded that living biological systems are “mini-cyclotrons” that can change one element into another and have a wide range of potential applications in the field of energy production.

Source: S. Goldfein, “Energy Development from Elemental Transmutations in Biological Systems,” Report 2247 (Ft. Belvoir, Va.: U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Command, 1978).



Blood Quality

According to traditional Far Eastern medicine, blood production begins with the transmutation of metabolized food through the villi of the small intestine. A diet centered on grains and vegetables creates strong, healthy blood with a slightly more alkaline pH value, while the modern diet, combining extremes of meat and sugar, creates weak, acid blood, requiring buffer mechanisms, especially depletion of minerals in the body, to make balance. See Immune Function.


• Macrobiotic Subjects Show Ideal Blood Values

Researchers at the Academic Hospital of Ghent University in Belgium evaluated the blood values of 20 men assembled by Lima Natural Foods Factory who had an average age of 36 and had been macrobiotic for about eight years. According to the tests, all the men were very healthy. Their blood pressure and body weights were low, their hormone levels favorable, and they had normal values for proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Overall, their cholesterol values were significantly lower than ordinary people.

     J. P. Deslypere, M.D., one of the researchers, concluded, “[In} the field of cardiovascular and cancer risk factors this kind of blood is very favorable. It’s ideal; we couldn’t do better; that’s what we’re dreaming of. It’s really fantastic, like children, whose blood vessels are still completely open and whole. This is a very important matter, deserving our full attention.” 

Source: Rik Vermuyten, MacroMuse (Fall/Metal 1984), p. 39.


Bovine Growth Hormone       

Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) is a genetically engineered hormone fed to dairy cows to boost milk production. While the FDA approved its use in 1995, health and consumer groups have expressed concerns about its safety and demanded that it be labelled.

     Monsanto, the manufacturer, has sued natural foods stores and companies that label its products BGH-free, claiming that such labels unfairly disparage a legal product. A compromise on the issue of labeling was reached for the first time in 1997 when organic food companies in Illinois and Ben & Jerry's ice cream settled a lawsuit against the state in which natural foods suppliers won the right to explain to consumers that they oppose recombinant BGH and would not use it on their products, though the FDA has found no significant difference between BGH-treated and untreated cows.

     About 25 percent of the milk sold in the U.S. is made from cows treated with BGH.       


• BGH and Breast Cancer

According to a recent study in Lancet, women with a relatively small increase in blood levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-1), a naturally occurring grown hormone, are up to seven times more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer than women with lower levels.

     Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, an environmental cancer specialist at the University of Illinois, explained that BGH milk is supercharged with high levels of abnormally potent IGF-1, up 10 times the levels in natural milk and over 10 times more potent. IGF-1 resists pasteurization, digestion by stomach enzymes, and is well absorbed across the intestinal wall, he stated.

     “The entire nation is currently being subjected to an experiment involving large-scale adulteration of an age-old dietary staple by a poorly characterized and unlabeled biotechnology product. Disturbingly, this experiment benefits only a very small segment of the agriculture industry while providing no matching benefits to consumers. Even more disturbingly it poses major potential public health risks for the entire U.S. population.”

Source: S. Epstein, "Unlabeled Milk from Cows Treated with Biosynthetic Growth Hormones: A Case of Regulatory Abdication," International Journal of Health Services 26(1): 173-185, 1996; PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corp., June 21, 1998.


• BGH Increases Cancer Risk

In a review of the evidence linking dairy and breast cancer, researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine contend that the FDA’s approval of BHG, genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, was based on faulty assumptions and studies. While the FDA concluded that it did not differ chemically from natural BGH, studies indicate that BGH differs by 1 to 9 animao acids. The FDA also assumed that BGH is not orally active in humans and that its activity is destroyed during pasteurization, both of which have been contradicted by subsequent studies.

     “A substantial body of medical evidence provides possible mechanisms by which milk may promote breast cancer,” the physicians conclude. “(1) IGF-1 and estrogens are present in all milk in micromolar to nanomolar concentrations; (2) IGF-1 is not destroyed during milk pasteurization; (3) IGF-1 has been shown to stimulate or initiate growth of human breast cancer cells; (4) IGF-1 acts synergistically with estrogens, which increase its effects even at nonomolar concentrations; (5) BGH increases IGF-1 levels in milk; (6) IGF-1 and BGH can possibly be absorbed intact from the GI gract; (7) IGF-1 can exert local mitogenic tissue effects and be cleaved to exert local mitogenic tissue effects.” While BGH has not been considered to be a danger because subsequent increase in govine milk IGF-1 levels are within the “normal range” based on untreated cows and human breast milk, the physicians assert that the “normal range” could be carcinogenic when milk is ingested regularly over a lifetime. They conclude that milk produced with BGH may increase the risk of cancer.

Source: J. L. Outwater et al., “Dairy Products and Breast Cancer: The IGF-1, Estrogen, and BGH Hypothesis,” Medical Hypotheses 48:453-61, 1997.


• BGH Effects on Cows

Injecting BGH reduces a cow's life expectancy and increases the risk of disease, contributing to increased use of antibiotics. Increased mastitis results in increased secretion of white blood cells or pus into the milk.

Source: J. Fagan, Genetic Engineering: The Hazards, MIU Press, 1995, p. 113.


Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are the leading cause of death from childhood cancer and may also pose lethal risks to adults. See Beans, Miso.


• Fruits Protect Against Medulloblastoma

In a case-control study of the diets of 315 pregnant women and an equal number of controls, scientists at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia reported that fruits, especially peaches, and juices appeared to be protective against development of medulloblastoma, a common brain tumor in children. The women’s consumption of candy, French fries, and chili peppers was associated with higher risk of this tumor in their babies.

Source: G. R. Bunin et al., “Maternal Diet During Pregnancy and Its Association with Medulloblastoma in Children: A Children’s Oncology Group Study,” Cancer Causes Control 16(7):877-91, 2005.


• Phytoestrogen-Rich Foods Protect Against Brain Tumors

In a case-control study on the effect of dietary phytoestrogens, especially from soy foods, on the risk of developing adult gliomas, scientists at the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southn California and Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles reported that the consumption of foods high in antioxidants and daidzein, a compound found in soy products, protected against development of gliomas by 802 subjects and 846 controls in Northern California.

Source: N. Tedeschi-Blok et al., “Inverse Association of Antioxidant and Phytoestrogen Nutrient Intake with Adult Alioma in the San Francisco Bay Area: a Case Control Study,” BMC Cancer 6:148, 2006.


• Childhood Tumors Linked to Cured Meat

In a study of maternal diet during pregnancy involving 1300 children, researchers at the University of South California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center reported that consumption of meats cured with sodium nitrite increased the risk of brain tumors.

Source: S. Preston-Martin, “Maternal Consumption of Cured Meats and Vitamins in Relation to Pediatric Brain Tumors,” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention 5(8):599-605, 1996.



Whole grain bread is traditionally eaten in the West, Middle East, and South Asia. Unleavened or sourdough bread is preferable to yeasted breads or breads containing sweeteners, baking soda, and other additives. See Peace, Prostate Cancer, Sesame, War, Wheat.


• Sourdough Fermentation Increases Nutrition

In a study comparing the effects of sourdough bread with wholemeal bread, researchers reported that sourdough bread significantly lowered serum glucose and insulin responses and gave greater satisfaction than the other bread. “It is concluded that sourdough baking and other fermentation processes may improve the nutritional features of starch,” the researchers concluded.

Source: H. G. Liljeberg, et al., “Sourdough Fermentation or Addition of Organic Acids or Corresponding Salts to Bread Improves Nutritional Properties of Starch in Healthy Humans,” Journal of Nutrition 125 (6)1503-11, 1995.


• Diet Protected Jews During the Exodus

Unleavened bread may have helped the Jewish people survive a plague that killed many Egyptians and their livestock, according to two medical researchers. Saccharomyces, a toxic yeast, is believed to have been transmitted in yeasted bread. By eating unleavened bread that did not harbor this potentially deadly mold, the Jews escaped the plague and prepared themselves to escape from Egypt during the Exodus.

Source: John Bladwin and John S. Marr, M.D., “Ancient Scroll Carries Clue to Deadly Mold,” New York Times, August 1, 1997.


Breast Cancer

Breast cancer has reached epidemic proportions in modern society, affecting 1 in 8 women. Breast cancer rates are substantially lower in countries where plant-centered diets are eaten. The protective effects of miso, tofu, and other soy products high in phytoestrogens and isoflavones are being intensively studied around the world. See Carrots, Dairy, Estrogen, Isoflavones, Menopause, Menstrual Disorders, Miso, Phytoestrogens, Sea Vegetables, Soy Foods, Tofu, Tempeh, Vegetables, Vegetarian Diet, Vitamin D, War-Restricted Diet, Women’s Health.


• Macrobiotic Diet Lessens Breast Cancer Risk

Macrobiotic and vegetarian women are less likely to develop breast cancer, researchers at New England Medical Center in Boston reported. The scientists found that macrobiotic and vegetarian women process estrogen differently from other women and eliminate it more quickly from their body. The study involved 45 pre- and postmenopausal women, about half of whom were macrobiotic and vegetarian and half nonvegetarian.

     The women consumed about the same number of total calories. Although the vegetarian women took in only one third as much animal protein and animal fat, they excreted two to three times as much estrogen. High levels of estrogen have been associated with the development of breast cancer. “The difference in estrogen metabolism may explain the lower incidence of breast cancer in vegetarian women,” the study concluded.

Source: B. R. Goldin et al., “Effect of Diet on Excretion of Estrogens in Pre- and Postmenopausal Incidence of Breast Cancer in Vegetarian Women,” Cancer Research 41:3771-73, 1981.


• Miso Retards Tumors

In laboratory experiments, Japanese researchers reported that chemically-induced breast tumors in rats could be significantly decreased by feeding the animals a diet consisting of 10 percent miso.

Source: T. Gotoh et al., "Chemoprevention of N-nitroso-N-methylurea-Induced Rat Mammary Carcinogenesis by Soy Foods or Biochanin A," Japanese Journal of Cancer Research 89(2)137-42, 1998.


• Kombu Decreases Risk of Breast Cancer

In an experiment at the Harvard School of Public Health, laboratory animals fed a control diet with 5 percent Laminaria (kombu), a brown sea vegetable, developed induced mammary cancer later than animals not fed seaweed.

     “Seaweed has shown consistent antitumor activity in several in vivo animal tests,” the researchers concluded. “In extrapolating these results to the Japanese population, seaweed may be an important factor in explaining the low rates of certain cancers in Japan. Breast cancer shows a three-fold-lower rate among premenopausal Japanese women and a nine-fold-lower rate among postmenopausal women in Japan than reported for women in the United States. Since low levels of exposure to some toxic substances have been shown to be carcinogenic, then it may be that low levels of daily intake of food with antitumor properties may reduce cancer incidence.”

Source: J. Teas, M. L. Harbison, and R. S. Gelman, “Dietary Seaweed [Laminaria] and Mammary Carcinogenesis in Rats,” Cancer Research 44:2758-61, 1984.  


• Tofu and Miso Protect Against Breast Cancer

In a study of the effects of soy products on female hormones, Japanese scientists reported that consumption of miso and tofu reduced production of estradiol in 50 healthy premenopausal women. "Our results suggest that the consumption of soy products lowers the risk of developing breast cancer risk modifying estrogen metabolism," the researchers concluded.

Source: C. Nagata, "Decreased Serum Estradiol Concentration Associated with High Dietary Intake of Soy Products in Premenopausal Japanese Women," Nutrition and Cancer 29(3):228-33, 1997.


• Asian Diet Helps Heal Breast Cancer

A diet high in soy foods, vegetables, and fish oil may reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a study conducted by the Jonsson Cancer Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. Dr. John Glaspy put 25 American women in remission from breast cancer on an Asian-style diet and reported that in three months on the diet the ratio of omega-3 in the women's blood rose fivefold. The omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in breast fat is considered a major indicator of risk for this disease.   

Source: D. Bagga et al., “Dietary Modulation of Omega-3/Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Ratios in Patients with Breast Cancer,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 89(15):1123-31, 1997.


• Diet Lowers Risk for Hispanics

Hispanic women in the U.S. have the lowest mortality rate from breast cancer of all ethnic groups. University of Texas researchers reported that a study of 22 Hispanic women in the Houston area showed their mean intake of dietary fiber from grains, breads, beans, and vegetables was higher than other groups. "This may help explain the lower incidence of breast cancer among some Hispanic populations," the study concluded.

Source: "Dietary Fiber, Hispanics, and Breast Cancer Risk?" Annals of the New York Academy of Science 837:524-36, 1997.


• Risks of Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen, a synthetic hormone that blocks estrogen, has been promoted for reducing the risk of breast cancer. However, it increases the risk of uterine cancer and blood clots. In a federal study, women who took tamoxifen had 45 percent fewer cases of breast cancer than controls, but over twice as much uterine cancer, nearly three times as many blood clots in the lungs, and 50 percent more blood clots in major veins.

     For women age 50 or older, for every one thousand women treated with tamoxifen for five years, the drug might prevent 17 cases of invasive breast cancer, while causing 12 cases of endometrial cancer and 10 serious blood clots.

Source: Lawrence K. Altman, "Researchers Find the First Drug Known to Prevent Breast Cancer," New York Times, April 7, 1998 and “Breast Cancer Breakthrough,” New York Times, April 8, 1998.


Breast Feeding

Mother’s milk has sustained the human species for countless generations. Breast milk is high in substances that confer natural immunity on the developing infant and protect against infection and disease. Breast feeding also protects the mother against selected cancers and other disorders. See AIDS, Chocolate, Microwave, Mochi, Pesticides, Prenatal Nutrition, Rice, Sea Vegetables, Skin Problems, Vegetarian Diet.


• Benefits of Breast Feeding

In a review of the long-term effects of breast feeding on mother and child, Danish researchers concluded, “There is increasing evidence that breast feeding has long term beneficial effects on the infant. The most important are improved cognitive development, reduced incidence of immune related diseases (e.g., Type-1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease), and childhood cancers. A reduced risk of breast cancer in the mother is another important benefit.”

Source: L. Schack-Nielsen et al., “Long Term Effects of Breastfeeding on the Infant and Mother,” Adv Exp Med Biol 569:16-23, 2005.


• Breast Feeding Protects Against Obesity

Compared to infant formula, breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing obesity at school age by about 20 percent, according to a Germany scientist. “We hypotesize that high early protein intakes [from formula] in excess of metabolic requirements may enhance weight gain in infancy and later obesity risk.”

Source: B. Koletzko “Long-Term Consequences of Early Feeding on Later Obesity Risk,” Nestle Nutri Workshop Ser Pediatr Program 58:1-18, 2006.


• Breast Feeding Reduces Risk of Celiac Disease

In a systematic review of studies published between 1966 and 2004, scientists at the Booth Hall Children’s Hospital in Manchester, UK, reported that the risk of celiac disease was significantly reduced in infants who were breast feeding at the time of gluten introduction. Duration of nursing also increased protection. Celiac disease is characterized by the inability to digest gluten or a reaction to gluten-rich foods.

Source: A. K. Akobeng et al., “Effect of Breast Feeding on Risk of Coeliac Disease: A systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies,” Arch Dis Child 91(1):39-43, 2006.


• Breast Feeding Reduces Ear Infections

Breast feeding can drastically reduce the number of ear infections in babies for the first four months, according to a University of Arizona study. “The longer you can breast-feed exclusively, the fewer the episodes of ear infection, but four months is the minimum for significant protection,” noted Dr. Burris Duncan, who directed the study. His findings showed that 56 percent of babies who nursed for four months or more had infections compared to 68 percent of babies who were not nursed.

Source: B. Duncan, “Exclusive Breast-feeding for at Least 4 Months Protects Against Otitis Media,” Pedriatrics; 91:867-72, 1993.


• Breast Feeding Lowers Lymphoma Risk

Breast feeding can reduce the risk of certain cancers for both mother and child. Researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md., found that infants breast fed more than 6 months had a lower risk of developing cancer in childhood, especially lymphomas.

     In this study, children who were formula-fed or breast fed for less than 6 months had approximately twice the risk of getting some childhood cancers by age 15 as those breast fed for longer than 6 months. They also had five times the risk of getting lymphoma.

     “Mother’s milk contains substantial antimicrobial benefits for infants, increasing their resistance to many infections and possibly protecting them from many diseases, including lymphomas,” researchers reported.

Source: “Breast-Feeding Linked to Decreased Cancer Risk for Mother, Child,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 80:1362-63, 1988.


• Breast Feeding Promotes Mental Development

Children born prematurely who were breast fed scored significantly higher on intelligence tests than those who did not. “Our evidence strongly suggests that human milk might have factors important to brain development,” noted Dr. Alan Lucas, director of the study and head of infant and child nutrition at the Medical Research Council’s Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, England. On average, the children given breast milk scored eight points higher on a range of intelligence tests taken when they were eight years old.

Source: A. Lucas et al., “Breast Milk and Subsequent Intelligent Quotient in Children Born Preterm,” Lancet 339:261–64, 1992.


• Breast Feeding Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

In a Chinese medical study, researchers found that the longer the mother nursed, the less at risk she was of breast cancer. Mimi Yu, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, studied more than 500 Chinese women with breast cancer in Shanghai and 500 healthy women.

The women she studied on an average nursed their various children for a cumulative total of nine years, a common pattern in China. “We believe that long periods of nursing would have the same protective effect for American women,” Yu reported.

Source: “Breast-Feeding Linked to Decreased Cancer Risk for Mother, Child,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 80:1362-63, 1988.


• Breast-Fed Children Smarter

Children who are breast-fed as babies are smarter and do better than kids brought up on bottled milk, according to a New Zealand study. In a study of  more than one thousand children, researchers found that those who were breast-fed for 8 months or more tested between 35 and 59 percent higher in reading comprehension, mathematical ability, and scholastic ability when they were 10 to 13 years old.

Source: L. J. Horwood and D. M. Fergusson, “Breast-feeding and Later Cognitive and Academic Outcomes,” Pediatrics 101(1):E9, 1998.


• Attention Deficit Disorder Linked to Less Nursing

In a case-control study of diet and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Purdue University researchers reported that children with ADHD were about half as likely to have been breast-fed as controls. The duration of breast-feeding was also significantly longer in ordinary children than those with this behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD children were also found to have lower amounts of specific fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in vegetables, fruits, and other plant quality foods, as well as in fish and seafood.

Source: L. J. Stevens et al., “Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism in Boys with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 62:761-68, 1995.



As a cruciferous vegetable, the protective effects against heart disease and cancer have been well documented. In traditional Oriental medicine, broccoli is especially good for the lungs and large intestine. See Vegetables.


• Broccoli Protects Against Metastatic Breast Cancer

In laboratory studies, scientists at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit reported that indole-3-carbinol (I3C), the active ingredient in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, significantly inhibited bone tumor growth.

Source: K. W. Rahman et al., “Therapeutic Inervention of Experimental Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis by Indole-3-Carbinol in SCID Human-Mouse Model,” Mol Cancer Ther 11:2747-56, 2006.


• Broccoli Reduces Cancer Risk

In a review of seven cohort studies and 87 case-control studies around the world, researchers in the Netherlands reported that 67 percent of the studies found that the consumption of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower lowered the risk of lung cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer.

Source: D. T. Verhoeven et al., "Epidemiological Studies on Brassica Vegetables and Cancer Risk," Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention 5(9): 733-48, 1996.


• Anticancer Nutrient Identified

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported that they had identified the ingredient in broccoli that worked as a powerful anticancer compound in laboratory experiments. The chemical, sulforaphane, boosts the production of an important enzyme known to neutralize carcinogens before they trigger tumor growth. In addition to broccoli, sulforaphane is found in bok choy, ginger, scallions, and other vegetables. In subsequent experiments, the Johns Hopkins scientists reported that broccoli inhibited induced breast cancer in animal tests. They particularly recommended saga broccoli, grown organically in Maine for the experiments.

Source: Y. Zhang et al., “A Major Inducer of Anticarciongenic Protective Enzymes from Broccoli,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 89(6):2399-403, 1992.


• Broccoli Protects Against Heart Disease

In laboratory studies, scientist in Brazil found that an active ingredient in broccoli efficiently reduced the levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides in rats. They concluded that a diet high in this nutrient may help protect against arterial diseases.

Source: R. Geremias et al., “Lipid Lowering Activity of Hydrosoluable Chitosan and Association with Aloe Vera L. and Brassica Olearaceae L.,” Phytotgher Res 20(4):288-93, 2006.


• Broccoli Sprouts Prevent Central Nervous System Disorders

In laboratory experiments, Canadian scientists at the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan found that giving dried broccoli sprouts to hypertensive and stroke-prone rats significantly reduced the ageing-related degenerative changes in the central nervous system.

Source: M. H. Noyan-Ashraf et al., “Dietary Approach to Decrease Aging-Related CNS Inflammation,” Nutri Neurosci 8(2):101-10, 2005.



Buckwheat, a hardy cereal plant traditionally eaten in Russia, Eastern Europe, and northern Asia, is popular as the principal ingredient in kasha and soba noodles. Buckwheat gives strong, warming energy and is excellent as a preparation for hard, physical labor. A buckwheat plaster is good for drawing excess liquid from the body.


• Soba May Protect Against Diabetes

In a study of the effects of buckwheat and wheat  on starch digestion in relation to the development of diabetes, scientists at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia reported that the rate of in vitro amylolysis was significantly reduced by buckwheat noodles and boiled buckwheat groats in comparison to boiled wheat noodles and white wheat bread. “It is confirmed that BWN [buckwheat noodles] have some potential in diets designed in accordance with the dietary recommendations for diabetic patients and for health subjects,” the researchers concluded.

Source: I. Kreft and V. Skrabanja, “Nutritional Properties of Starch in Buckwheat Noodles,” Journal Nutr Sci Vitaminol 48(1):47-50, 2002.


• Buckwheat Protects Against Gallstones and High Cholesterol

In studies with laboratory animals, scientists at Iida Women’s Junior College in Nagano, Japan, reported that animals given high protein buckwheat flour or buckwheat protein extract showed a significant decrease in liver cholesterol, the excretion of steroids, adipose tissue weight, and the incidence of gallstones compared to those fed a diet centered on dairy protein (casein).

Source: H. Tomotake et al., “High Protein Buckwheat Flour Suppresses Hypercholesterolemia in Rats and Gallstone Formation in Mice by Hypercholesterolemic Diet and Body Fat in Rats Because of Its Low Protein Digestibility,” Nutrition 22(2):166-73, 2006.


• Buckwheat Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

In a study of the Yi, an ethnic minority in southwest China, researchers reported that buckwheat and oats intake was associated with lower serum total cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol, and a higher ratio of HDL to total cholesterol, all protective factors against high blood pressure and heart disease.

Source: J. He et al., “Oats and Buckwheat Intakes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in an Ethnic Minority in China,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61(2):366-72, 1995.


Buddhist Medicine

Siddartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, attained universal understanding while eating brown rice and meditating under a tree in north India. In his teaching, he emphasized the psychological and medicinal value of  a diet that avoided extremes. Eating brown rice, especially softly prepared rice, he said, gives many healthful blessings:


            It confers ten things on him:

            Life and beauty, ease and strength;

            It dispels hunger, thirst, and wind.

            It cleanses the bladder, it digests food;

            This medicine is praised by the Well-Farer.


Source:  I. B. Horner, translator, The Book of the Discipline (Vinaya-pitaka), Vol. IV (London: 1951), p. 302.

Barley protects against heart disease, diabetes, and ulcers

Beans are protein rich and strengthen the heart, blood, and digestive system 

Beans are protein rich and strengthen the heart, blood, and digestive system (Photo of Asian farmer harvesting mung beans)

French biochemist Louis Kervran pioneered the theory of biological transmutation of elements

French biochemist Louis Kervran pioneered the theory of biological transmutation of elements

Food quality largely determines the quality of blood, lymph, and other bodily fluids

Food quality largely determines the quality of blood, lymph, and other bodily fluids

BGH has been linked to a rise in profits and an increased risk in cancer

Fruits and vegetables can protect against brain tumors

Fruits and vegetables can protect against brain tumors

Whole grain bread helps protect against diabetes and other digestive ills

Whole grain bread helps protect against diabetes and other digestive ills

A balanced plant-based diet helps protect against breast cancer

A balanced plant-based diet helps protect against breast cancer

Breast feeding promotes health and well being at many levels

Breast feeding promotes health and well being at many levels

Broccoli enhances health and protects against heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions

Broccoli enhances health and protects against heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions

Broccoli enhances health and protects against heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions

Buckwheat gives strength and endurance

A healthy diet is an important part of Buddhist medicine

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